The 18-year-old was unearthed by the club’s scouts during the FIFA U-20 World Cup held in Turkey during June and July and the wheels were put in motion. While the New Zealand squad didn’t win any of its group games the Asia Pacific Football Academy graduate clearly did enough to attract the attention of those who count.
Once he has cleared his medical Tuiloma can put pen to paper, but that doesn’t mean he will be making an immediate debut in the country’s top division. Instead he is signing up as a trainee starting his career in the OM technical centre with the reserve team.
He will play in CFA 2 the second best amateur league, or fifth division, in France which is one step away from professional footballer.
Ahead of leaving for France the youngster scored twice to try and keep his side Birkenhead United alive in their Chatham Cup quarter final against Hamilton side Melville United but unfortunately they went down 3-2.
Birkenhead United director of football Paul Hobson says it is typical of Tuiloma’s upbringing that he would try and fit one final club game in before his departure.
“When a player signs for a club there’s often a hint of jealousy, but not with Bill, he’s such a lovely kid. His parents have kept him well-grounded,” Hobson says.
Hobson first coached Tuiloma as an eight-year-old and says his potential, even back then, was huge.
“He had loads of ability from the word go. He’s the only player I’ve ever known that you could put in any single position, apart from goalkeeper, and he would be pretty much the best player on the pitch,” he says. “He makes things look effortless, he’s got so much time, he’s a natural player.”
Having trained with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy as well as attracting some interest from English clubs Manchester United and Liverpool adapting to the French game should be of little difficulty for the young Kiwi talent.
To see Bill Tuiloma in action during his time at APFA click here
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